Lassa fever – Nigeria
91 new infections with Lassa fever have been found in Nigeria. 21 people died between Feb 14-21.
Lassa fever is transmitted by the multimammate rat. Signs and symptoms of Lassa fever typically occur 1-3 weeks after the patient comes into contact with the virus. 80% of all infected do not have symptoms. Stronger cases lead to fever and often deafness.
There is no vaccination for Lassa, thus the officials are increasing their efforts to contain the spread of the virus
Photo: Lassa fever virus – Electron micrograph
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms but for 1 percent of those infected, death occurs in the first two weeks. The disease is usually initially spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected mouse. Spread can then further continue between people.
There is no vaccine. Prevention requires isolating those who are infected and decreasing contact with mice.
Descriptions of the disease date from the 1950s. The virus was first described in 1969 from a case in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria. Lassa fever is relatively common in West Africa.
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